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The in-home model of care will best allow your child to develop motor skills, as they are practicing these skills in a familiar environment, which can be easily replicated by parents.
You’ve just scheduled your first in-home physical therapy session for your child with an expert physical therapist. Now what? You may be wondering what to expect, what the in-home session would look like, and what you may need for the sessions. Look no further! We’re here to give you all the ins and outs of in-home physical therapy.
On your first session, your child’s physical therapist will complete a full evaluation. Your therapist will:
- Ask you many questions to get your child’s full medical history
- Discuss goals and gross motor skills you would like your child to achieve
- Complete an evaluation that assess your child’s
- Review impairments and strengths
- Discuss prognosis with you and recommend session frequency
- Finally, they will provide education on certain exercises you can complete with your child to work towards reaching his or her goals prior to the next session
It will be helpful to have an open space ready in your home with either carpet or a play mat where the therapist will set up exercises. It is recommended to have your child’s favorite toys, books, or music to be used as motivation during PT sessions because exercise for little ones is hard! If there is a certain skill your child is working towards, such as pulling to stand at the couch, it would be helpful to set up the open space near furniture so the physical therapist can guide you through that motor skill.
If older siblings are motivating for your child, they are welcome to participate in the session. However, if they may be a distraction to you or your child receiving PT, it would be helpful to set them up with an activity in another room. It is important to teach your older children that their sibling is working on building strength and independence during his or her PT sessions so that he or she will be able to play and move around the home and school more easily!
During your child’s ongoing treatment sessions, the physical therapist will help facilitate exercises with your child while explaining the purpose of each exercise and how you can practice this at home. It is important to be present during your child’s therapy session- children learn gross motor skills with practice and repetition!
The more you can practice at home with your child between sessions, the more likely it is that your child will make faster progress. Your child’s PT will use your child’s favorite toys for motivation, as well as many other household items (refer to our household items blog post for ideas of things you can use around the house during PT sessions!) to facilitate exercises and activities with your child.
Your child’s physical therapist is there to answer all questions you may have, so bring all your questions to your child’s PT session! We look forward to meeting and working with your family!